Lochaber is a wild, beautiful, remote region in the heart of the West Highlands of Scotland. It contains some of the most spectacular scenery in the Highlands characterised by ancient mountain ranges, jagged peaks, rugged hills, terraced plateaus, steep-sided gorges, wooded glens, inland freshwater lochs, narrow, steep-sided sea lochs and an extensive coastline of rocky shore and sandy beaches. This wild and dramatic landscape, over 5000 square kilometres, encompasses some of the most stunning regions in Scotland, including Ardnamurchan, Moidart, North and South Morar, Knoydart, Morvern, Sunart, Ardgour, Ben and Glen Nevis, Glen Roy, Glen Coe and Rannoch Moor, as well as the Small Isles. Mull is readily accessible by ferry from Kilchoan in Ardnamurchan and Lochaline in Morvern, and Skye by ferry from Mallaig. The region is served by the ancient military town of Fort William.
This dramatic landscape has borne witness to tectonic plate collisions, intense volcanic activity, climate change and major glaciation events, and continues to be sculptured by ice, sea and freshwater. The area lies within the Lochaber Geopark, an internationally important region in which geology has had a major impact on the landscape, history, culture and fauna and flora. Lochaber has the highest mountain in the UK (Ben Nevis) and the deepest loch (Loch Morar), the shortest river (River Morar) and is bounded by one of the longest glens, The Great Glen. The exceptional geomorphology can be readily explored by rail, car and foot. The rail journey between Fort William to Mallaig (on The West Highland Line) has been described as one of most spectacular railway journey in the Britain, if not the World.
The region contains 47 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), 14 Sites of Conservation Importance, five National Scenic Areas and four National Nature Reserves (Ariundle Oakwoods, Creag Meagaidh, Rum and Glen Roy), in recognition of the outstanding scenic landscapes and the richness of the fauna and flora. Lochaber supports some of the UK’s nationally and internationally important wildlife, including, osprey, golden eagle, sea eagle, otter, pine marten, wild cat and red squirrel, as well as a rich cetacean fauna.
Lochaber offer some of the best walking opportunities in the Western Highlands, from pleasant strolls to long distance treks, to ridge walks and scrambles, to climbing Munros. There are also some long distance walks including the Western Highland Way and the Great Glen Way.
Lochaber also supports wide range of outdoor pursuits, from the gentle to the extreme, catering to all levels of fitness and interest. It is no surprise that Fort William has earned the reputation as the Outdoor Capital of the UK.
The landscape, history and culture of the region have inspired many musicians, painters, photographers, writers and film makers alike, and contributed to a diverse literary, artistic and musical heritage. Lochaber has provided spectacular scenic backdrops, beaches and iconic features to many films, including Local Hero, Harry Potter, Highlander, Master of Ballantrae, Kidnapped, Rob Roy, Hamish MacBeth and Monarch of the Glen.
Lochaber is also steeped in history, as evidenced by its historic castles and townships, monuments, and royal connections. The 18th century witnessed two Royal uprisings, both of which ended in defeat. The West Highlanders’ support for the Jacobite uprising in 1715 for James VII ultimately led to the bloody Massacre of Glen Coe. Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard at Glenfinnan, in Moidart, in 1745, another ill-fated uprising that was to end in defeat at Culloden a year later.
So why not come to Lochaber for stunning scenery (mountains, glens and lochs), sandy beaches, rocky shorelines, turquoise seas, a varied flora and fauna, historical landscapes and some of the best places for wildlife , walking and adventure in the Highlands.